If it’s the first week after the season ends, it must be the long-awaited cull.
Always a bit callous calling it a “cull”, when you think about it. It’s basically a series of sackings/non-renewal of contracts that gets mentioned in terms akin to pest control.
But it is what it is, and players themselves know they’ll move on sooner or later. And you wonder why they show little loyalty?
This is a little bit of a hurried update, I wrote it in less than an hour as your editor is at Wembley today. As a result, it’s not quite as in-depth as I would have liked.
Besides, the promised/threatened end-of-season review will be published early next week, hopefully. So that will keep you busy.
For now, it’s time to look back on which shirt sponsor needs a new victim. So, in the order I nabbed it from the OS…
– Aaron Ramsdale
Has there been a more popular – and decent – keeper in the AFCW era such as Rambo?
Earmarked at the beginning of the season, but a broken thumb may have been a blessing for him (he might have been part of the Ardley malaise otherwise). Literally saved us a load of times, especially at Luton.
Young, but somehow managed to make you feel like he was ten years older, and in a good way.
Also very down to earth, and with an impressive attitude to boot – reportedly, the draw against Brizzle Rovers on Good Friday “ruined his weekend”.
Plus his celebrations at Bradford will live long in the memory of anyone who saw them.
How far he can go is up to him, and sadly we’ll not see him in an AFCW shirt any time soon, though for the right reasons…
– Steve Seddon
Probably the other loanee who people will miss most of all, although you never know where he’ll end up next season.
Loved it with us, apparently, and the OS comments by him (while fully aware they’re through the club’s official channel) should give a warm glow.
Popped up with the odd very important goal, a la Lawrie Sanchez, and his awareness for our second goal at Kenilworth Road will be a highlight of a season so few in them.
– Tennai Watson
Apart from his first name, I can’t remember much of him, though my actual game watching this campaign was mercifully sporadic.
– Michael Folivi
Came in on a bit of a hiding to nothing, being a striker who had to prop up a failing strike force. Did OK, though ultimately was usurped by a James Hanson who found fitness at the right time.
I don’t think he did anything wrong, especially as in January you can get it very wrong when signing strikers, and popped up with the odd goal.
Also telling that by playing the amount of games he did without getting injured, he automatically became one of the most reliable strikers we had.
Still a major disappointment that his name was not the subject of a song to that Genesis tune. All together now – follow you, Michael Folivi…
– Jake Jervis
If anyone summed up the wretchedness of Ardley’s transfer policy, it will be him. Was apparently the top target for Notts County’s current manager, which explains a lot.
He started off poorly and never really improved much after that. Sort of a Tyrone Barnett without the decent song for him.
His main – OK, only – contribution was at Wycombe, where he scored then gave it the cupped ears treatment. Which seemed to do it for him under Walter, as he never featured much more after that.
Or to put it another way – when you’re fighting relegation, and needing goals, and you’re in Wally’s woodshed for that period…
– Tyler Garratt
See Tennai Watson.
– Deji Oshilaja
AKA how not to cash in on a player wanted by a Championship club.
As soon as we tried getting more money out of Ipswich for him (which may have exposed our naive approach in transfers – sometimes you have to take slightly less rather than get £0) and it fell through, it was never the same after that for him.
Awarding him the captaincy seemed to make his play worse, although reportedly “liking” posts by Franchise players on Twatter never helped his cause.
Walter’s somewhat terse comments on him suggests a falling out, which may also explain – like Jervis – why he was missing in those vital run of games.
Reportedly, Barnsley, Sunderland and Fleetwood are after him, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up at Franchise. He seems the type.
– Andy Barcham
The last of the L2 Wombley squad, and by the end his opportunities were few and far between.
Which is a shame, as he was one of those who kept grafting and showed us glimpses of what he could do in L1. That said, when he did come on he was looking less effective as the season progressed.
Would be a good addition for a L2 side, and may well have stayed with us if we had gone down. Though with all due respect to him, I’m glad we didn’t…
– Tom Soares
The third and final member of los Wardrobles, although WD’s comments on him were eyebrow-raisingly positive.
Played a brief cameo towards the end, and did a job, although his legs have given up on him too much for us.
One of those type of players I wouldn’t be surprised to see us replace with somebody much younger next season, and he might have been more useful if he wasn’t associated with the team’s decline.
– Alfie Egan
One of the youngsters who probably isn’t going to make it in L1 football, and possibly not L2 either.
– Osaze Urhoghide/James O’Halloran/Kane Crichlow
OK, I don’t know any of them, but I’m sure they’re all kind to animals.
And that is it. For now, anyway.
There’s a lot of players departing – thirteen in that list alone – but there’s still a lot of names under contract.
Some will be more welcome than others – seeing Kalambayi on that list, for example – but we don’t really know who’s been given gentlemen’s agreements to find another club.
Walter himself is going on holiday, and I guess many of the players are too, so that week or two is going to be a time for various agents to be touting some of our remaining squad around.
And contracts can be cancelled, or arrangements made to move players on. Some will be well advised to take that chance.
So this probably isn’t the end of it, and for those who aren’t wanted it’s decision time. Do they stay with us to pick up the pay cheque, knowing their careers will be ended the less they’re played with us?
Every pro footballer wants to be out on the pitch showing their wares, so it might not just be W&G who wants them to move on.
Also, we’ve offered a new deal to Will, and I hope it’s good enough for him to accept it.
Anyway, the rebuilding starts now, and I’m in no doubt we’ll be looking to bring players in sooner rather than later.
It’s going to be a different way of doing things these days, one hopes, and we need to move on from the previous let’s-wait-to-see-who-is-in-the-bargain-bin-by-July approach.
We’ll still pick up the odd player like that, but they must only be as a bonus and not the fundamental policy to begin with.
Just one final thing – why was this list released at 11pm or so? Was trying to shift Jervis and Deji from the woodshed really that difficult…?